Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture
Gen. 24. 1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
Evangelism is a high privilege. It is to be pursued intentionally. Jesus told the woman at the well that “the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” He adds: “For the Father is SEEKING such people to worship Him.” (John 4.23 – Emphasis mine) This seeking out is what He asks us to join Him in. The Spirit of God is busy in the earth. He is about the 3-fold task Jesus said was His. (John 18.8) “And when he comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” Men’s consciences still bother them, because the Spirit is at work. Men know they ought to BE righteous, because the Spirit is at work. Deep down, everyone knows there must be some form of final judgment. Because the Spirit is at work. Evangelizing is merely cooperating with what the Spirit is already busy doing.
But how are we to go about it? What are the first steps? The essential steps? How do we become those co-laborers in earnest?
The first answer is – PRAYER. Moving ahead, in total dependence upon Him. Seeking His leading. His arranging of circumstances providentially. The softening of men’s hearts. The stimulation of dead souls. To peel back the blinding scales. To unstop the deaf ears. To enlighten sin darkened minds. For boldness to speak when naturally we would remain silent. For clarity in communication. For hearts burdened for the lost’s condition. For wisdom to speak rightly. For winsomeness to speak winningly. For mercy to present the Balm of Gilead. For truthfulness to prevent compromise. For zeal to combat our natural lethargy. For love to speak at any cost. For souls as our reward. For the Father to save. For the Spirit to pluck them like brands from the fire. For others to plead as well. For others to sow and water as well. For churches to put them in once converted. For humility to speak genuinely. For grace to speak invitingly. Prayer.
Eliezer paused as he entered the environs of Abraham’s kin to ask for success. Do we? And having met with initial success, he then prays in thanksgiving. He knew then what Spurgeon once articulated so well: We work as though it all depends upon us, and then pray knowing it all depends upon Him! This is right.
God uses means to accomplish His goals. He sends us out to preach. He does not ordinarily save apart from it. The proclamation of the good news. In one sense foolishness. To those who will not hear. But the wisdom of Heaven nonetheless. God accompanies His Word with power. The Gospel is after all “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 1.16) “Faith comes from hearing” – is birthed in the heart by it. Hearing what? “The word of Christ” (Rom. 10.17) The Gospel. It has pleased God to make faith the byproduct of the Gospel preached to men. It is not our great power in proclaiming it. It is the power of the Spirit using it. The power is in the Word, in the SEED, not the farmer who sows it. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6.63)
Evangelism begins with prayer. It does not end there. More is to be done. But it does begin there. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.” (Ps. 126.5) Those who tearfully plead with God for the souls of men, are those who enter the joy of reaping those souls. Be about it friend. Let us agree together to do it. To plead for those unsaved loved ones. Not merely to mourn for their lost condition. To weep, to argue for their souls. To intercede as Christ has done for us. May we be like the four friends who lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof of Jesus’ house. (Luke 5.18) With holy boldness and audacity. May we barge in unafraid to the Master’s own home. Before the Throne. May we place those before Him who cannot, will not get there themselves. May we put them before Him. Oh, He is a wonder working God. He is a merciful Lord. He is a forgiving Savior. He knows the high value of His own blood is sufficient for all we might be able to bring. And ten thousand thousands of worlds of men besides. His arm is not shorted that He cannot save. Perhaps it is we have not because we’ve asked not. (James 4.2) “Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from His fierce anger, so that [they] may not perish.” (Jonah 3.9)
Pray beloved. Pray until we see the tide turned. Our neighbors and neighborhoods won. Our towns and cities transformed. He has done it in days past. He is still the same. He can do it again. Who knows but that revival will come? That souls will be brought into the Kingdom in untold numbers. That cold, dead hearts will be called to life. That multitudes may yet rejoice with us in their salvation. Who knows?
One thing is for sure. We will not know, unless we pray.